The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Father MacEvily’s Commentary on 1 John 3:1-2

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 24, 2012

Text in purple represents the Bishop’s paraphrase of the verses he is commenting on.

1Jn 3:1  Behold what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called and should be the sons of God. Therefore the world knoweth not us, because it knew not him.

Reflect again and again, how great a proof of his unbounded love the Father has given us, by conferring upon us the exalted title of sons of God, and rendering us such in reality; and it is because the world neither knows nor loves this your bountiful Father, that it does not love you either; but on the contrary, persecutes you, and treats you with the greatest contempt.

“Behold,” diligently consider, “what manner of charity the Father hath bestowed upon us,” that is, how great is the love of God the Father for us, as manifested in this, viz., “that we should be called,” or, should receive the exalted appellation and epithet, of “sons of God,” and “should be,” in reality, such, viz., adopted sons of God, owing to our new spiritual birth by grace, and owing to his adopting us, as co-heirs of his Son. “Therefore, the world knows us not,” does not recognise, or love us as his sons; on the contrary, it contemns and persecutes us, “because it knew not him,” it is because the world, that is to say, worldly, carnal men, neither knew nor loved him, that, therefore, they prize not your exalted privilege of divine filiation, through sanctifying grace. The words, “should be,” are not in the ordinary Greek copies, but they are implied in “should be called,” and are found  και εσμεν, in the chief manuscripts and ancient versions.

1Jn 3:2  Dearly beloved, we are now the sons of God: and it hath not yet appeared what we shall be. We know that when he shall appear we shall be like to him: because we shall see him as he is.

Dearly beloved, we are even now  in the midst of the persecution and contempt with which we are treated, the sons of God. But what we shall be, what glory we shall enjoy at a future day, hath not yet appeared. But when Christ shall come in majesty to judge the world, we know that our bodies, clad with all the properties of glorification, shall be assimilated to his, because we shall then see him, not as we see him now (“through a glass, in a dark manner,”) but, as he really is, face to face.-(1 Cor 12).

Even at the present moment, in the midst of the opprobrium heaped upon us, by those who know not God, we enjoy the lofty prerogative of divine sonship; and “what we shall be, hath not yet appeared,” it is only at a future day it will be seen, to how great a degree of glory we are to be raised. “We know, that when he shall appear,” when Christ shall appear in majesty to judge the world, “we shall be like to him.” This is commonly understood to regard a likeness in the glorified bodies of the elect to Christ’s glorified body. Some interpreters translate the words, “when he shall appear,” εαν φανερωθη   “when it shall appear,” namely, when it shall appear, what we will be, as if reference were made to the words immediately preceding. The other, however, is the far more common construction. The words have the same meaning, as in chapter 2 verse 28. “Because we shall see him as he is,” not obscurely, as now, but “face to face” (1 Cor 12), the lumen gloria shall enable us to see, “face to face” the glory of God; for this, the grace of the present life would be insufficient; and from the beatific vision of God, or the glory of our souls, shall flow the glorification of our bodies. Hence, the Apostle assigns our “seeing him as he is,” as the cause why we will be like him as to the glorification of our bodies, when he shall appear in judgment, “because we shall see him as he is.”

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One Response to “Father MacEvily’s Commentary on 1 John 3:1-2”

  1. […] Bishop MacEvily’s Commentary on 1 John 3:1-2. […]

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